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Telephoney Rant

2 Months after submitting our “home move” order and almost 2 months since moving in to our new home, we have no phone line from BT. We’re incredibly lucky that the area is serviced by virgin cable, so we have managed to obtain alternative Internets, otherwise I dare say I would be apocalyptic with rage. As it is, I’m just on “simmer”, instead. I was actually moved to write a real letter to the company yesterday, after what was probably my fifth or sixth “update” – updates that is that don’t really update anything other than the next time that we’ll be called with an update. Pathetic.

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Broadband Rant

It’s hard to see how targets of 90% + coverage are going to be met in this country, when we can’t get fibre broadband even on our new housing estate in a redeveloping area.

The next street along has an upgraded cabinet, and one further down has an upgraded cabinet, but our cabinet remains outdated. I am told that our cabinet does not meet the “financial criteria” due to having too few houses connected. To me, it seems that hardly any similar cabinets would ever make the criteria – in other words, unless you happen to be extremely lucky, or you’re living in a city centre, you can forget it, regardless of promises to cover 90% of the UK.

I guess what that 90% figure means is that 90% of exchanges will be capable of providing fibre broadband – even if only 1/3 of the connected cabinets can.

It seems to me that having financial criteria from a single provider makes the aims of the project incompatible with the implementation.

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Filter in the name of protection

I think it’s shocking that one of the central pillars of the concept of the Internet, free access to all things, is casually eroded by David Cameron in the name of “protecting the children”. This is appalling. Whilst I’m sure that this will give some poor quality parents an illusion of online safety, saving them from what must surely be a terrible chore of actually having to care about what their children are doing for themselves, filtering traffic by default is a massive blow to online freedoms. This will not make things better. This paves the way for the government to more fully dictate how and what we should view on the Internet in the future – after all, if the technical filters are already in place, why not just increase them a nudge to filter out more content that the government deems “unsuitable”? And, of course, the elephant in the room is that those people who do not have these filters activated, who choose instead to maintain real access to the Internet, will have suspicion cast upon them.

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Think of the children!

I’m highly amused that the government are selling the latest bundle of internet censorship as a child protection measure. Apparently all our Internets should be filtered by default because that makes it safer for children. Notice that this is billed as some kind of anti-porn filter, but the actual block is against “harmful content”, which could essentially be “whatever the government wants to block by default.” The reason that we need this seems to be that “Growing numbers of parents do not feel in control of what their families are exposed to online”. Apparently actually watching what your kids are doing and engaging with them so that they don’t need a nannying internet filter is too much effort for the modern family.
Sigh.

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Skyrim mod error 16

This ate up time today, so I though I’d note it down here. All attempts to download Skyrim mods using the Steam Workshop were create error 16 unable to download file when starting the launcher. There’s barely anything on the internets about what causes this error, or how to fix it, so here’s my findings. To fix it in my case, I tried a number of things, but the only ones that ultimately produced a working download were to grant my user full control on the skyrim data directory, and to completely exit and restart steam. Which one of those actually did anything, I’m not sure. Probably this is as simple as “restart the steam client”…

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